8:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Does 'Scandal's' Rowan Deserve to Die? Joe Morton Weighs in
"Against me, you will lose." Scandal's Rowan Pope really laid down quite a challenge with his daughter, Olivia.
Scandal viewers seem poised to find out if Command — aka Joe Morton's Rowan Pope — can really be taken down when Olivia (Kerry Washington) teams with Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) and ex-B613 agent Jake (Scott Foley) to topple the man responsible for killing the president's eldest son.
But does Rowan, a self-professed champion for the Republic, deserve to die?
"On one hand, the easy answer is yes, he should die," Emmy winner Morton says of his alter ego. "But the other side of me thinks he is so good at his job, so good at doing all the things he does that some part of me wants him to be the last man standing."
So far, Rowan has outsmarted nearly everyone — save for his estranged wife Maya Pope (Khandi Alexander). He's also the man responsible for creating B613 and teaching Huck (Guillermo Diaz), Jake, Charlie (George Newbern) and, indirectly, Quinn (Katie Lowes), everything to be a black ops agent.
Morton equates Rowan to 1973's horror classic The Exorcist in which the devil ultimately wins after throwing a priest out of a window, and like Robert Duvall in Apocalypse Now — the kind of character you can't kill.
"The same sort of thing applies here in a way: Rowan is one of those people who is too clever," Morton says.
Despite the horrible things that he has done, nearly everyone — at least until recently — continued to trust Rowan. Morton attributes that to the fact that Rowan always says things that are true.
"That's how he does what he does: It's all based on the truth," he says. "If he says to Olivia, 'No, Jerry died because you told Jake how important it was for the president to win the election,' he knew he had to and he put something together so that there would be a barrier between Olivia and Fitz because of Mama Pope. That's what Rowan did, but that's based on a truth."
So now that Olivia and Quinn teamed to get a full confession from Tom (Brian Letscher), secret service agent turned B613 operative, that Rowan was really the man responsible for killing Jerry — not Jake — can the master chess player be taken down by his daughter and the president? Morton thinks it will take more than that to outsmart Rowan.
"[Not] unless Rowan has a teacher because he taught Jake how to be Command; he taught Huck everything about B613," Morton says. "So unless someone comes along who thinks much the way Rowan does and can beat him to the punch — outmaneuver him in this chess match — that would be the only way."
Do you think Jake, Olivia and Fitz can outsmart Rowan? Hit the comments below with your thoughts. Scandal airs on Thursdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.